Back to school  season is just around the corner; this time of year comes with lots of excitement and anticipation, but it can also be an anxious and stressful time for many families as they do their very best to set their young students up for success.

That is where the Backpack Program comes in. Coordinated by the United Way KFL&A with donations from individuals, community businesses and organizations, the program distributes backpacks and school supplies to ensure that families and children have all they need for another successful school year.

As you begin your back-to-school shopping for the new school year, United Way encourages you to consider buying a few extra items that can be donated to this year’s Backpack Program. Donations can be dropped off at:

United Way KFL&A office –  417 Bagot Street 
Monday to Friday from 8:30am -4:30pm until August 12, 2022 

The Kingston Frontenacs’ Shop at the Leon’s Centre (thanks to partners at the Kingston Frontenacs)
August 8 – 11 or August 15 – 18, 10am – 2pm 

Cataraqui Centre, Centre Court (thanks to partners at Move 98.3 and Pure Country 99)
During business hours until Aug 11th

We will continue to receive donations into early September and will start packing backpacks mid-August.

Those who wish to donate supplies and need to arrange a pickup can contact or to make a financial contribution to the backpack program, please visit 

What supplies are most needed?

Backpacks, lunch bags, pens, pencils, rulers, math sets, markers, crayons, scientific calculators, pencil cases – these supplies are always needed.
If possible, gender neutral colours encouraged and labels indicating grade on dropped off supplies – this will make sorting and distribution easier. Thank you!

JK to Grade 4

Backpack (small for JK-Gr.2), Coloured Pencils Eraser, Fine Line Markers, Lunch Bag, Pencil Case, Pencils (5), Ruler ,Water Bottle

Grade 5-6

Backpack, Calculator (Basic), Coloured Pencils, Eraser, Fine Line Markers, Lunch Bag, Math Set, Pencil Case, Pencils (5), Pens (6), Water Bottle

Grade 7+

Backpack, Binder (1), Calculator (Scientific) Coloured Pencils, Eraser, Fine Line Markers Lined Paper (1 pk), Lunchbag, Math Set Pencil Case, Pencils (5), Pens (6), Water Bottle

About the Backpack Program

Organized by the United Way KFL&A, working closely with agencies and businesses, the program ensures that families with children have all they need for another successful school year. In 2021:

  • 1,700+ children and youth in KFL&A started the school year with school supplies and backpacks 
  • 6,000+ school supplies given to agencies for kids. Binders, notebooks,pencils, pens, rulers, highlighters, crayons,calculators and more!

Agency Partners

Addiction & Mental Health Services – KFL&A
Elizabeth Fry Society
Family & Children Services of Frontenac, Lennox, and Addington
Food Sharing Project
Home Base Housing – Lily’s Place Family Shelter, One Roof Youth Services, RISE@one4nine
Pathways to Education
KEYS Job Centre – Refugee Children and Youth Enhanced Integration Program
Kingston Interval House – Emergency Shelter and Robin’s Hope Transitional Housing
Kingston Youth Shelter – Shelter & Transitional Homes
Maltby Centre
Partners In Mission Food Bank
Rural Frontenac Community Services
Salvation Army, Napanee
Southern Frontenac Community Services
Youth Diversion Program

Individuals looking for supplies are asked to register with one of the agencies above or contact their school principal or board office (Note: this only applies for Limestone District School Board and Algonquin Lakeshore Catholic District School Board students).

Corporate Sponsors

“For kids who struggle in life, you want to do whatever little thing you can to help them. And it might be as easy as a backpack of school supplies. It might be as easy as a lunchbox. It allows students to associate a fresh start with the new school year.”

- Retired elementary school principal